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A Peece of Christ

Charles Hope: Did Leonardo paint it?

22 December 2019
Leonardo da Vinci 
at the Louvre, until 24 February 2020Show More
Leonardo da Vinci Rediscovered 
by Carmen Bambach.
Yale, 2350 pp., £400, July 2019, 978 0 300 19195 0
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The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World’s Most Expensive Painting 
by Ben Lewis.
William Collins, 396 pp., £20, April 2019, 978 0 00 831341 8
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Leonardo’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ and the Collecting of Leonardo in the Stuart Courts 
by Margaret Dalivalle, Martin Kemp and Robert Simon.
Oxford, 383 pp., £35, November 2019, 978 0 19 881383 5
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... for certain around 1900 in the collection of Sir Francis Cook, when it was not regarded as of any particular merit, acquired its astonishing price tag in only 12 years is told in absorbing detail by BenLewis. The key moment in this history of the painting was its inclusion in the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan held at the National Gallery in late 2011. There was no ...
7 August 1986
Mating Birds 
by Lewis​ Nkosi.
Constable, 184 pp., £8.95, July 1986, 0 00 946724 6
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Lost Time 
by Catharine Arnold.
Hodder, 220 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 340 38783 1
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The Bridge 
by Iain Banks.
Macmillan, 259 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 333 41285 0
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Incidents at the Shrine 
by Ben​ Okri.
Heinemann, 130 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 434 53230 4
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Things fall apart 
by Chinua Achebe.
Heinemann, 150 pp., £3.50, July 1986, 0 435 90526 0
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The Innocents 
by Carolyn Slaughter.
Viking, 219 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 670 81016 9
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... The first novels of Lewis Nkosi and Catharine Arnold raise issues that have been in the news of late: racist oppression in South Africa and the ugly behaviour of the smart set at England’s oldest universities. Neither ...
13 November 1997
Lord Hailsham: A Life 
by Geoffrey Lewis.
Cape, 403 pp., £25, October 1997, 0 224 04252 1
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... interest and enjoyment’ his book had occasioned: she was, she said, sure that it would help ‘many slightly muddled, BBC-battered people to see things more clearly’.) The title of Geoffrey Lewis’s biography could have been ‘Quintin Hogg’, ‘Quintin Hailsham’ or just ‘Hailsham’. No one, after all, would dream of writing a biography of, say, Harold Wilson and calling it ‘Lord ...

Clarety Clarity

Colin Burrow: Herrick and His Maidens

30 July 2014
The Complete Poetry of Robert Herrick 
edited by Tom Cain and Ruth Connolly.
Oxford, 504 pp. and 803 pp., £125, October 2013, 978 0 19 921284 2
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...  draw energy from their relationship to other poems. Some are even best imagined as solo riffs played against a chorus of other poets, who are deliberately called to mind by allusion or parody. Ben Jonson’s collection ‘The Underwood’, posthumously printed in 1640, had gathered together Anacreontic poems and poems about growing old, petitions to the king, imitations of Horace, as well ...
9 July 1992
‘Rain-Charm for the Duchy’ and other Laureate Poems 
by Ted Hughes.
Faber, 64 pp., £12.99, June 1992, 0 571 16605 9
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... all the things that the job would like him to say! Never mind about Larkin and Marvell and their cunning ways: they were not Poets Laureate. Who was? Well, the first is usually said to be Ben Jonson, followed by D’Avenant and Dryden, who was given the title officially. Then came Shadwell, Tate, Rowe, Eusden (who celebrated the Duke of Newcastle from whom he received the office and ...

A Lone Enraptured Male

Kathleen Jamie: The Cult of the Wild

6 March 2008
The Wild Places 
by Robert Macfarlane.
Granta, 340 pp., £18.99, September 2007, 978 1 86207 941 0
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... A situation has arisen on Ben Nevis. I don’t mean a rescue, although as it happens the RAF and mountain rescue teams are bringing down a man and two boys who, the report says, ‘didn’t read the weather forecast’. The ...

Echoes

Tom Phillips

2 April 1981
English Art and Modernism 1900-1939 
by Charles Harrison.
Allen Lane, 416 pp., £20, February 1981, 0 7139 0792 4
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... heroes. Apart from Epstein’s bold beginning (‘Rock Drill’ of c.1913 still looks fresh, and, in its original form, startling and unassimilated) and the odd burst of action from Wyndham Lewis, the self-styled skeleton in the cupboard, his three protagonists are Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore. Nash’s was a fine sensibility and Nicholson’s lyrical gifts are husbanded with a ...
7 March 1985
Montaigne’s Tower, and Other Poems 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Secker, 72 pp., £5.95, October 1984, 0 436 18806 6
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Collected Poems: 1963-1980 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 256 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 85031 557 3
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The Faber Book of Reflective Verse 
edited by Geoffrey Grigson.
Faber, 238 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 571 13299 5
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Blessings, Kicks and Curses 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 279 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 0 85031 558 1
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The Private Art: A Poetry Notebook 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 231 pp., £4.95, October 1984, 9780850315592
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Before the Romantics: An Anthology of the Enlightenment 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Salamander, 349 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 907540 59 7
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... at least another ten finenesses. Some of the new poems return to former experience: ‘At Colmar, in June, Outside the Museum’ is another version of ‘Note on Grünewald’, ‘B.N.’ (presumably Ben Nicolson) resumes ‘Unposted Reply’. But if I were to invoke the criteria that Grigson has enforced upon other contemporary poets, none of his poems would pass. Four years ago he declared his ...
22 December 1994
The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages 
by Harold Bloom.
Harcourt Brace, 578 pp., £22, November 1994, 0 15 195747 9
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... As one thinks of Harold Bloom, Auden’s description of Wyndham Lewis as a lonely old volcano comes to mind. Though not, like Lewis, ‘of the Right’, or indeed claiming any political alignment, Bloom erupts with comparable regularity and force. He prefers to be a one-man cultural opposition, waving only the banner of ...

The Limit

Rosemary Hill

2 November 1995
Christopher Wood: An English Painter 
by Richard Ingleby.
Allison and Busby, 295 pp., £25, May 1995, 0 85031 849 1
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Barbara Hepworth: A Life of Forms 
by Sally Festing.
Viking, 343 pp., £20, May 1995, 0 670 84203 6
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... is narrative and intimate. The small landscapes in Cornwall and Brittany, views through a window, still lives, succeed. The maturing style of the later paintings owed much to Wood’s friendship with Ben and Winifred Nicholson, who were devoted to him. They were perhaps more perceptive than his other friends, even his loyal protector/lover Tony Gandarillas. Certainly they took him seriously as a ...

Doctor, Doctor

D.A.N. Jones

19 April 1984
The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea 
by Randolph Stow.
Secker, 276 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 436 49734 4
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The Suburbs of Hell 
by Randolph Stow.
Secker, 165 pp., £7.95, April 1984, 0 436 49735 2
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Kingsley’s Touch 
by John Collee.
Allen Lane, 206 pp., £6.95, March 1984, 0 7139 1633 8
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A Suitable Case for Corruption 
by Norman Lewis.
Hamish Hamilton, 185 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 241 11178 1
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... Three of these novels might almost be called thrillers, their plots resembling sensational news items. With Norman Lewis we read of plans to assassinate statesmen in Egypt and Libya, with evil American agents blackmailing honest Britishers. John Collee tells of a wonder cure for cancer devised by a Hindu mystic in a ...
4 December 1980
Lewis​ Namier and Zionism 
by Norman Rose.
Oxford, 182 pp., £9.95, October 1980, 0 19 822621 7
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Personal Impressions 
by Isaiah Berlin.
Hogarth, 219 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 0 7012 0510 5
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... At All Souls in 1932, Lewis Namier provoked Isaiah Berlin by scornfully dismissing the history of ideas – dismissing it in German, though the rest of the conversation (or rather harangue) was conducted in English – as ...

Burlington Bertie

Julian Symons

14 June 1990
The Last Modern: A Life of Herbert Read 
by James King.
Weidenfeld, 364 pp., £25, May 1990, 0 297 81042 1
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... and Byron’. It is a mark of the division in Read that he was both attracted and repelled by those whose views about art differed deeply from his own. He was overwhelmed on first meeting Wyndham Lewis, called him ‘a great and scandalously ignored painter’, and as late as 1932 said Lewis was ‘by far the most active force among us’. But he nursed feelings of resentment that his admiration ...

On the Lower Slopes

Stefan Collini: Greene’s Luck

5 August 2010
Shades of Greene: One Generation of an English Family 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Cape, 580 pp., £25, August 2010, 978 0 224 07921 1
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... that lurked beneath his bohemian exterior and helped him feel that he was maintaining something of the family tradition. Family is, ostensibly, the organising theme of Shades of Greene. Jeremy Lewis has not attempted to add yet another Life of the most famous Greene, but has written a narrative account of aspects of the lives of the more prominent Greene siblings and cousins, Graham included ...

Thatcherschaft

Nicholas Spice

1 October 1987
The Child in Time 
by Ian McEwan.
Cape, 220 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 9780224024990
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The Book and the Brotherhood 
by Iris Murdoch.
Chatto, 601 pp., £11.95, September 1987, 0 7011 3251 5
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... touch of nightmare, a closed-in atmosphere within which the author’s humane values can the more effectively be felt to struggle for breath. The author’s humane values are looked after by Stephen Lewis, celebrated children’s book writer and member of the Parmenter Sub-Committee on Reading and Writing, one of 14 committees detailed to report back to the Official Commission on Childcare, ‘known ...

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